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Arts + CultureMusicUnder the Stars: Sheila E., Snoop Dogg, The Streets...

Under the Stars: Sheila E., Snoop Dogg, The Streets prove some classics still shine

Plus: New sounds from Los Bitchos, Allysha Joy, Ian Carey & Wood Metal Plastic—and RIP Rev. Cecil Williams.

It’s Under The Stars, babe: a quasi-weekly column that presents new music releases, upcoming shows, opinions, and other adjacent items. We keep moving with the changes and thinking outside the margins.

Herein we celebrate the life of the late great Rev Cecil Williams of Glide Memorial Church, who transformed that space into one of love and acceptance, supporting the city’s queer community and those struggling with homelessness and drug addiction. 

That’s the San Francisco I know.

He died on April 22 at his home in San Francisco, surrounded by friends and family. He was 94. A celebration of Rev. Williams’ life will take place Sun/12 at 1pm at his church.

There is a story my old North Beach bartender friends would always tell me.

When Bono was in town performing with U2 or just hanging out, being, well, Bono. No matter how late he stayed out in bars in North Beach—dude did kick it late mind you—he always made mention of making it to Glide on Sunday morning to sing in the choir.

Rev Cecil Williams had extended an open invitation to him. Let’s keep some acceptance in our hearts.

Ok, let’s get into it!

 IAN CAREY & WOOD METAL PLASTIC, STRANGE ARTS

“Rain Tune,” the lead cut from Richmond’s own Ian Carey & Wood Metal Plastic outfit, from their Strange Arts release this past March, has that culture clash between two styles of jazz that splatter into these mysterious puddles of wonderful colors that Lowe’s could use a hand with. 

The seven-piece combo crosses modern flights with chamber behaviors that continually bring listeners’ ears to places not considered but always pleasing. 

Far from being amateur, Strange Arts will have you dipping again and again into its abstract loveliness.

Pick it up and support your Bay Area neighbor here.

SHEILA E, BAILAR

Time remains a flat circle that keeps going around.

Oakland drummer, vocalist, humanitarian, and historian Sheila E. is determined to kick that flat circle out of the way. I’ve been doing a bit of research on the ’80s, and I keep finding new bits of info about how much Sheila E had a hand in it all—playing with, producing, and arranging for multiple people. I’ve said it before, and I will repeat it for the cheap seats: Prince was all-time, but he relied on the women in his circle. His female allies, mentors, and collaborators to pull off incredible feats we still marvel at today. Sheila E, similar to Wendy and Lisa, is one of those collaborators, confidants, and mentors.

Understand this. Prince did not have a family name like Escovedo, which still means percussionist royalty.

Sheila E. just released Bailar, your next salsa obsession featuring Rubén Blades, Luis Enrique, Gloria Estefan, and Mimy Succar. She’s stilll putting the rhythm of life down right, collecting those flowers.

Pick up Bailar here.

ALLYSHA JOY, “STAY” (FIRST WORD RECORDS)

So after a wave of singles, low-slung red-hot uptempo remixes, and even supreme collaborations with famed producer IG Culture, Melbourne-based artist, musician, singer, performer, poet, and producer, Allysha Joy, turns out a spiritual stunner of a single, proving she’s the complete artist as advertised.

“Stay,” a feature for Joy’s wide vocal range in a moving arrangement, is the first single from an album that we believe is on its way. With her globally recognized talents on the Fender Rhodes, creating that intimate-cozy feeling, press rewind on the track, and hopefully said album from First Word Records will arrive by airmail. It should be a good summer. Get the single here.

DJ PREMIER X SNOOP DOGG, “CAN U DIG THAT?” FEAT. DAZ DILLINGER

Hip-hop of a certain era, the Golden Era, is having a real moment like, right now.

With A Tribe Called Quest entering the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an event many of ‘us’ thought would never happen? God Bless and Rest in Power Phife!

We are also celebrating Nas’ debut studio album, Illmatic, which was released 30 years ago.

Last month he took to Instagram to commemorate the record. “I had a dream I could get my favorite producers to produce on my debut album. I knew exactly what I wanted and how it should be. But I didn’t know anyone except for Paul, so I asked him would he connect me to them all. The cool soul brother that he is helped me line it up. On April 19th we smashed shit,” he wrote.

“Even though the album leaked months before the release date we still are a part of music history,” Nas continued. “Thank you Large Professor (Paul) and DJ Premier who drove into the projects to pick me up a time or two. Q-Tip, Pete Rock, and my man from The Bridge DJ LES, and my guy AZ who was just coming up himself.”

DJ Premier released a track with Snoop Dogg and Daz Dillinger that, in my opinion, is one of the closest things he’s done in years that sounds like classic Gangstarr production. 

Snoop, giving shoutouts to E-40 and Too Short among others, just crushes the beat, maintains the vibe, and elevates “Can U Dig That?” to primetime listening. 

Also, keep in mind Snoop will be on the call for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Rest in Power always, one of the best to ever do it, GURU!

Pick up the single here.

OVERMONO & THE STREETS, “TURN THE PAGE” (XL RECORDINGS)

Yo. Upon first listen I’m asking the question that hopefully some are amazed by.

How in the hell do you tease out an almost two-minute drop?

With The Streets bookending the fore and aft. That’s how.

A year after releasing their critically acclaimed debut album Good Lies, Overmono returns with their highly sought-after version of The Streets’ “Turn The Page.” Overmono (aka Tom and Ed Russell) first performed their version of The Streets’ “Turn The Page” at the 2022 edition of Lost Village Festival to a sea of approval from attendees. It has since grown into a word-of-mouth secret handshake thing with fans and critics alike.

The track, which has been called a “glitchy techno banger,” has emerged as a focal moment in the duo’s critically acclaimed live show over the last two years.

Proving “garridge” will never die.

Pick it up here.

LOS BITCHOS, “LA BOMBA” (CITY SLANG)

Upon hearing those official-sounding guitar riffs at the beginning of “La Bomba,” the new single from Los Bitchos, a lively 4/4 beat is sure to kick in next… signaling? You have now washed up at the shores of something wild.

This all-woman instrumental four-piece band, consisting of members from Australia, Uruguay, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, rocked The Chapel here in SF so hard with their retro-futuristic blends of Peruvian chicha, Argentine cumbia, Turkish psychedelia, and surf guitars a couple of years ago that I accidentally took the wrong bus home after leaving the show. True story.

And I was damn happy about it.

When lead guitarist Serra Petale along with Agustina Ruiz on piano, Josefine Jonsson on bass, and Nic Crawshaw on drums come to your town, be prepared to get right with your boogie spirit animal. It’s a damn party. That has been their secret to crushing crowds all over the planet, and they will continue doing so with the shiny-sheeny instrumental “La Bomba” which hopefully will produce an album down the road this year.

In the meantime, make peace with your get down and pick up this single here.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

John-Paul Shiver
John-Paul Shiverhttps://www.clippings.me/channelsubtext
John-Paul Shiver has been contributing to 48 Hills since 2019. His work as an experienced music journalist and pop culture commentator has appeared in the Wire, Resident Advisor, SF Weekly, Bandcamp Daily, PulpLab, AFROPUNK, and Drowned In Sound.

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